Mary Judd Communications / SongwritingWith:Soldiers
An inspirational coach, speaker and writer, Mary first joined BEAHIVE in the early days of the Albany hive (2012), and after a hiatus, came back in July 2017.
connector, an appreciator, positive program innovator, coach and inspirational speaker.
I’m passionate about…
sparking creativity and hope, empowering people and communities to see strengths and build better lives.
Briefly describe your work.
My work connects people — either to themselves, to others, or to their surroundings. I write extensively. I’ve developed programs for clients including I Love New York, the Happy film, and American Farmland Trust. My most recent, SongwritingWith:Soldiers (SW:S,) pairs veterans with songwriters for intimate retreats that build creativity, connections and strengths. In six years, we’ve reached 400+ veterans, recorded as many songs and created a community that is bridging the military civilian divide… and saving lives!
What do you love about what you do?
I help others live better lives. I see people light up with joy and see them share it with others. My work pushes me past stereotypes toward deeper engagement and connections. I’m surrounded by highly talented and hard working people and I get to share their stories with others.
How did you start (your work)?
By being curious, willing to trust my gut, my education, my experience and my belief in others to truly want to connect. (And early on, by knowing that I needed a flexible, customized work life after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when I turned 25, teaching full time. Resilience and creativity were essential. I learned quickly the power of being aware of my authentic strengths and putting them to work in the best way.)
What do you like best about BEAHIVE?
I love the ability to work in such a great space (brick walls!) that otherwise might be cost prohibitive — WITH so many other interesting, independent people! I also love the connecting and community building that is inherent in the mission. So grateful for this space and opportunity.
Where do you see your work going in the next year… five?
I’m completing a training manual to replicate SW:S or use as a model for creating other impactful programs. I am also finishing a book of interviews with people from many walks of life — about strengths and how they’ve been tapped or stifled in their life and what resulted.
Anything else you want us to know?
That I am from Colorado, have family there, lived in Austin for many years… and absolutely LOVE New York, every speck of it. We have so much that is so good here.